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Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ - News 

http : //www. secucc . org/ne ws/note .php 





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A Note from the Conference 


A Thanksgiving Reflection 

Dear Friends, 

In this season of thanksgiving, my mind has turned to the 
Chinese benediction, "may you live in interesting times". 
These are interesting times as our nation struggles to emerge from a deep 
economic recession, a recession that has exacted a great cost in human suffering, 
as people lose homes and jobs, children go hungry, schools are increasingly 
overcrowded, and much more. These times have challenged our churches, some 
of which have seen giving drop, and the growing need for ministry in the face of 
human crisis. Sometimes the sense of scarcity of this season casts a shadow on 
the abundance with which we are blessed. In this season, yes, I am deeply 
grateful of those essential parts of my life; my family, the joy of serving my call to 
ministry, friends from across the years and places, yes. 

However, in this letter I would lift up another part of the abundance that pours 
from the hand of God. In a word that is you... you, the people and the churches of 
the Southeast Conference. We knew as we worked on the Conference budget for 
the year 2009 that these would be challenging times, and we planned accordingly. 
But through the year I have seen our churches put the mission of the United 
Church of Christ first time after time. Yesterday I received a call congratulating 
me that this Conference had given the biggest increase in One Great Hour of 
Sharing (OGHS) of UCC conferences in 2009. That same call thanked me for the 
particular generosity of Pleasant Hill Community UCC, TN, for having the highest 
per capita giving to OGHS of all churches in the UCC. The giving to Our Church's 
Wider Mission (OCWM) Basic Support, which was at an historical high in 2008, 
remains as strong in 2009. The Friends of the Conference effort inviting 
individual giving to OCWM and other ministries of the Conference has brought a 
generous response from you. The first returns of pledges from leaders to the 
Campaign to Expand the Ministry and Mission of the Conference have been 
extraordinarily. The churches and people of the Conference have been generous 
not only with dollars, but with time and commitment. 

In the end, this is not about money, but about a vision, a vision of another kind of 
world, place where there is no ambiguity about the "all" when we say "all are 
invited", where the love of God is lived, and the spirit of justice to which Christ 
calls us is honored. May we together be worthy of So, thank you for all that you do 
to build our beloved church. 

Tim Downs 


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11/24/09 11:42 AM 

Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ - News 

http : //www. secucc . org/ne ws/note .php 

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11/24/09 11:42 AM